Superdry co-founder steps down, donates shares to charity
The increasing focus on doing social and environmental good at brands and the environmental awareness of brand founders came in to sharp relief on Tuesday. Superdry said that one of its founders, Julian Dunkerton, is to leave the company “and devote more time to his other business and charitable interests.”
He’ll step down from his position as a director at the end of this month and his role “in relation to product and brand will be continued by the creative teams that Julian has helped Superdry to establish.”
Dunkerton said he’s “immensely proud of everything achieved at Superdry over the past 15 years. As a fast-growing, innovative business, [it] has always evolved to ensure it keeps delivering. With other demands on my time it is the right point for me to transition my focus and responsibilities.”
Importantly too, he said that he intends to transfer ordinary shares up to the value of almost £1.6 million by way of a personal donation to The Blue Marine Foundation.
This is a UK-registered charity that exists to protect the seas, by combatting overfishing and the destruction of biodiversity with the creation of large scale marine reserves. The donation is part of a wider legacy strategy that Dunkerton has been working on outside his interests in Superdry.
Last autumn, he and fellow founder James Holder also established a share scheme to distribute some fo the benefits of the company among its 4,500 employees. The fund they set up sees them transferring 20% of any gain they make from the company’s share price rising above £18. The fund's proceeds will then be shared with employees.
But the share price fell on Tuesday and at time of writing is at only £16.10.
Company chairman Peter Bamford said that “with Superdry embarking on the next phase of its ambitious growth plans, and with other interests and opportunities available to him, Julian and I have been talking for some time about the right time for him to move on from the business.”
It didn’t give any details about who would take on which roles as of next month.
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